Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

Banjo Lovers Online

Apr 24, 2024 - 10:11:33 AM
7 posts since 4/25/2017

I might have asked this before but as Woody put "I'll sing it again." Is it practical to do as Pete
originally did and lengthen the neck of a standard neck banjo. I have an open back that was
given to me as a friend. I'd be willing to put some money in it, depending on what it might cost.
I'd appreciate any advice.


Apr 24, 2024 - 11:53:21 AM
likes this



3002 posts since 8/30/2012
Online Now

Is it practical? That all depends.

Pete Seeger built his long neck because before he did it, longnecks didn't exist and you couldn't buy one.

You can just buy a long neck nowadays.

Gold Tone sells them for a couple hundred bucks, and for a bit more they'll fit them to any pot you send them. I doubt you could modify a regular neck for less cost than Gold Tone can make a long neck. If you want to spend more for a nicer product, you can get them from lots of builders right here on BHO.

Apr 24, 2024 - 12:34:59 PM
likes this

4699 posts since 3/6/2006

If I were you I'd remove the original neck and look for a long neck, rather than "butchering" the original. I think you can buy one (neck only) from Gold Tone, but I'm not sure. Or you might find a BHO member who has one lying around. Another option is to make one, which I did about 15 years ago, but to my own specs, which was to make it look like Pete's lignum vitae. It's been my "go to" player ever since, tailored to my hands. It's the one I'm playing in my profile photo.

Edited by - mainejohn on 04/24/2024 12:37:08

Apr 24, 2024 - 1:34:47 PM
likes this

13128 posts since 10/27/2006

Pete had his Vega WL (+2 frets) and Orpheum (+3 frets) necks extended. Then there were his homemade necks. He and his friends converted Bacon folk banjos, also. He gives instructions in "How to Play the 5 String Banjo". That was then. The common denominator is that none of them had steel reinforcement.

Long necks for conversion are available for purchase from Gold Tone and there are cheap-o ornate necks from Vietnam on eBay. You can also make your own if you like by cutting down a 34" bass fretboard and using a bass truss rod. 25 frets on a 32" scale is standard but you can do what you like.

Apr 25, 2024 - 5:19:14 AM
Players Union Member



17513 posts since 8/30/2006

First tune your shortneck down to E and capo at the 3rd fret for G. Remove the capo and get acquainted.
that will show you what a longneck can do and sound like.

Then a longneck came in my shop with spikes set up for singing in F. Duh, I hadn't thought of that before.

It's a fine luthier's project to splice in a piece, but a lot of good necks have been ruined this way.

The fancy imported longnecks are inconsistent with green wood, thin pearl and mislocated dots. They are thick and clunky with low quality/great looking inlays. People buy a dozen at a time to get a good one. I abhor waste and wasted shipping money.

I had to make my own double cut longneck.

Edited by - Helix on 04/25/2024 05:21:13

Apr 25, 2024 - 7:25:01 AM
likes this



12381 posts since 2/7/2008

You should be able to make a neck from scratch for about $50 in materials or less if fancy ornamentation is not an issue.

Quarter sawn cherry, walnut, sapele and maple are readily available and economical at better wood stores. Black locust and padauk are economical fretboard choices. 2 way truss rods and frets are cheap on amazon. Borrow tuners and attachment hardware from the original neck.

This will allow you to convert it back later if desired.

Apr 25, 2024 - 11:00:45 AM

3021 posts since 4/16/2003

I think I posted the same reply in your last thread as I'm going to post in this one.

If YOU can't tell us WHY you NEED a longer-necked banjo, then...
... you don't need one.

Don't waste your money and time.

Apr 25, 2024 - 6:38:54 PM

7 posts since 4/25/2017

Thanks to all of you for the comments and suggestions. I don't really need a long neck banjo.
I have a friend with one and I like how it sounds for folk songs.


Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Privacy Consent
Copyright 2024 Banjo Hangout. All Rights Reserved.

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories